This Creative Writing Exercise Will Get You Unstuck Every Time

by Joe Bunting | 165 comments

Sometimes, I just stare at the screen, wanting to write but having no idea what to say. Has that ever happen to you? Today, I want to share a creative writing exercise that will get you writing every time.

Writing Exercise

Photo by Patrick

 

What Do You Do When You Want to Write But Can't

To me, one of the worst feelings in the world is the desire to write. Seriously.

There are few things as painful as wanting to put words on the page, words that connect, words that change, words full of meaning and beauty. The desire continues to build but for some reason your hands refuse to write anything. Your mind can't form sentences. Everything just gets stuck.

The desire is there, but you can't write.

What do you do when you want to write but can't?

Use This Writing Exercise When You're Stuck

What if you stopped trying to write perfect sentences? What if you stopped trying to write sentences that made sense at all?

What if you wrote in gibberish?

Here's what I mean by gibberish:

I'm stronger than the problem that ails the recent growth spurt converse boys green shirts. I'm stronger than the lucky llama brewing goat shearers who drink flag milks on parent's arms as they carry bowls fill with agave acai ladies. I'm stronger than hipster beards.

Complete gibberish. However, even though it makes absolutely no sense, somehow it still feels personal to me, meaningful, as if something in my subconscious was released in the nonsensical phrases that I strung together at random.

Why This Writing Exercise Works

You've probably heard the advice, “Just write.” The reason why this exercise works is because it gets you writing, and the fact that you're writing nonsense actually makes it easier to keep writing because it sets the bar so low. After writing gibberish, you can only get better from then on.

It works. Before I started writing today, I was stuck. I knew I had to write a blog post. I even wanted to write a blog post. But I couldn't get myself to write.

So I wrote gibberish. Afterward, writing was simple. It was even fun!

Ready to give this writing exercise a  try?

Have you ever tried writing gibberish? How did it feel?

PRACTICE

First, set your timer for ten minutes. Then, start writing gibberish. Write whatever comes to your mind, especially if it makes no sense.

When your timer goes off, post your gibberish in the comments section. After you finish, I bet you won't have any problem keeping writing!

Have fun!

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Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris, a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. Follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).

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165 Comments

  1. Avril

    The underlying phalanges of destiny doom crowed random hearts. Until tomorrow it isn’t why could it following mustard. Bubbles churn madly oh not again we plough our fields. Risking nothing we little presents stolen. The Creators fluster we were so late lost. He called they said hunched over and noe she’s angry.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Haha very fun, Avril. Those crazy phalanges of destiny doom.

    • Grey Gregory

      It would be funny to try coming up with a plot line using the elements in these sentences.

    • Adelaide Shaw

      This sound like some wannabe beatnick poet.

    • Dawn Atkin

      This is great.
      I love every gibberish sentence.
      Regards Dawn

    • Avril

      Happy grumblebug climbing the mountain moon! =)

    • Dawn Atkin

      Ha ha. You’re a natural. 🙂

  2. Adelaide Shaw

    I tried to write total gibberish, but couldn’t go on with it. My mind wanted to create some sense. This is a mixture of gibberish and nonsense.

    In the 21st century we need to hold onto our roots. Carrots, potatoes, turnips are
    roots. Hold onto them. Don’t let them go wandering off into soups and stews. We
    need to keep our roots in the ground otherwise we would be rootless. Do you
    know what it means to be without roots? You dry up. You get blown away. Anyone
    who comes by can kick you aside. You have nothing to hold onto. Roots gives us
    structure. We are just like cut flowers without roots. Soaking up water from a
    vase, but the water gets stale, turns murky and we are drinking slime. Imagine
    surviving on slime. You can’t. You need to be in the ground with roots. We also
    need nourishment. Fertilizer for the body. Meat, milk, vitamins and a scoop of
    manure every now and then. That will keep our roots healthy. What about
    fertilizer for the soul? Music. Yes music and poetry. Sing to your roots, write
    about your roots. Dance a jig around your roots. May all your roots grow and
    prosper

    Reply
    • Joy

      Wow! This is some of the best gibberish I’ve ever heard! It cracks me up, but there’s also truth in it. Thanks for sharing. Long live the roots! ha ha 🙂

    • Adelaide Shaw

      Thank you. I don’t know where this piece came from. It just came out fast without thinking.

    • Joe Bunting

      This is so fun, Adelaide! I want to dance a jig around my turnip roots!

    • Adelaide Shaw

      My parents were transplants from Italy, and I have lived in the East, the West, Europe and back East again. No time to grow roots.

    • Susan Smith-Grier

      I really love this! It put a smile on my face and made me think of my own roots and how sometimes I end up in the soup…or the stew….sometimes I stew about my roots. But they get pretty nourished because I have to put up with a lot of fertilizer!! Thanks for this!

    • Adelaide Shaw

      My roots have been where ever I’m at, short and always ready to be pulled.

    • Dawn Akemi

      Roots as metaphor. 🙂

    • Adelaide Shaw

      Some families are lucky to have long roots. There’s a family in our town whose ancestors go back to before the Revolution. They have the original property and the house.

    • Dawn Akemi

      I think you touched a nerve in our culture where rugged individualism separates us and rootlessness is virtually iconic.

    • Susan W. A.

      Delightful! Thank you for posting.

    • Adelaide Shaw

      Thank you. I wasn’t expecting so many comments.Now I know I have to do this again.

    • Christine

      Loved this! By all means, let’s hang onto our roots. We can’t all be eating hot dogs.

    • Adelaide Shaw

      Thank you. This was a fun practice.

    • CarolynL

      I really enjoyed this! Even after finishing the last sentence, I wanted to re-read it and save it somewhere to read it again later.

    • Adelaide Shaw

      Thank you. I’m overwhelmed with the response I’m getting. It took only 10 minutes of writing. I should try writing as quickly again.

    • TrepTiger

      Rootless and tootless, wandering fro and tooless. Thank you

    • Adelaide Shaw

      I can’t say this aloud without getting my tongue twisted.

    • TrepTiger

      I am glad that you tried. So sad you found your tongue tied.

    • Avril

      I love every rooty tangent!

    • AnnM

      I love this! Witty and inciteful. Not gibberish at all but made us think; still in a lighthearted way. Keep writing…. You have a gift! Thank you.

    • Michael Follen

      I find it ironic that you wrote about roots when you have trouble writing gibberish. Gibberish is a very “unrooted” way of writing.

    • Geneva Chapman

      Your gibberish sounds like stream of consciousness, my preferred method of loosening my writing muscles. Sounds rather poetic as one thought connects to another. Yours makes a very logical progression into murkiness. Excellent!

    • Adelaide Shaw

      Thank you, Geneva. I appreciate your comments.
      Adelaide

    • Celine Love

      I really enjoyed this as well Adelaide, light humorous & meaningful poetry. 😉

    • Adelaide Shaw

      Thank you Celine. It was a fun exercise.

  3. Vicki Baldwin

    Adelaide, Great writing. Hate to say that I completely understood what you wrote as gibberish

    Reply
    • Adelaide Shaw

      Thank you. If you understood my gibberish, maybe you can explain it to me.

  4. writergalintheATL

    It’s not that I get writer’s block. I tend to not have a
    problem putting words to the page. I’m always thinking about something. Always looking
    to weave words together into some cogent meaning that’s profound and life
    changing. My problem is that I am FOREVER comparing my writing to EVERYONE
    ELSE. As far as I’m concerned, it appears that EVERYBODY’S writing is better
    than my own. When in hindsight, I’m probably not all that bad. I mean, when I reread
    what I’ve written it sounds awesome. I am often left to wonder ‘who is the
    scribe that…” oh crap, I’M STUCK! See, this is what happens. I am forever
    trying to come up with the perfect words. The perfect recipe of linguistic profundity
    (I learned this word on Family Guy, an awesome show to learn new words lol). That’s
    my biggest problem. That, and the fact that I have the attention span of a
    fetus, lol. Seriously, I can’t concentrate on any one thing for longer than…hmmmmm,
    a short time. Interestingly enough, I freelance as an editor helping doctoral
    students and other college students with their thesis papers. I’m great at
    that. I know exactly the right words to substitute. I know how to instruct students
    on the best way to structure their papers. I’m an awesome researcher. I have a
    million and one ways to get information. I’m good at it. But, when it comes to
    doing my own stuff, blogging or novel writing or article writing – well, If I’m
    not completely inspired and motivated, and a little tipsy,
    I don’t’ come up with much. Okay, I guess that’s the end of my 10 minute rant. Lol.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      The other reason I like this exercise is that it frees you from perfectionism, something most of us writers struggle with. You should try it!

    • Susan Smith-Grier

      Your gibberish makes so much sense to me! I’m in the same boat. Saw an article on line that I thought was really good and wished I had the skill to write like that….then saw a sentence that sounded familiar….went to my archived files. Yep… It was an article I had written. We seldom know how good we are. Trust when folks say your good….you’re good!

  5. Chloee

    This came to me in the course of ten minutes I think I might make a novel out of it.

    I thought back to when I was a child. Though I am barley an adult now at the ripe old age of 13. The times growing up of wanting to be a superhero and chase boys down to the playground and kissing frogs to see if they were a prince woe is me though for those times are gone and now the time for me is the awaking.

    The high members of the home will pick five children under the age of 21 yet over the age of 10 to go on a journey across the globe. Facing danger at every corner half shall lose ther lives under the others will be scarred for life.

    I looked forward to the day when I would be picked yet as the time drew near a certain feeling came from inside me.

    Fear is what I believed it’s called something I had never experienced before in my life. But as I sat here in the inky black of the night as the crickets chirped their song.

    Many people find their song relaxing even beautifull. I found sickening their songs echoed off of the woods filling your head with their song taunting and teasing as though they knew death was near.

    I opened the letter that they had sent me telling me I had been picked. I walked over to the fireplace and threw it in watching as the corners chirred and the fire snap burning into the ashes like my life.

    Reply
    • aGuyWhoTypes

      yow! that’s the money! good stuff

    • Chloee

      Thanks!

  6. aGuyWhoTypes

    the light reveals everything. in photography its all about the light cause without light all you would have is a black print or a black screen. when you photograph something you are recording the light that reflects off the objects that you are photographing, nothing else matters. ask yourself what is the light doing? What type of light is it? is it soft?, diffused, hard, bright, dim, subdued perhaps. does it sound like something. light reveals the darkness that evil men hide. and that is exactly what was happening in the basement that belonged to John Harns. The light from detective Bob Garp’s flashlight was revealing the nine rotting bodies that were piled in the corner. It revealed John Harns’ heart. The light revealed the evil that prevailed the minute he came into this world. The light that shines and paves the way for man to choose the moral path they he wants to take but for some reason or another, something goes wrong, something gets misaligned and then next thing you know that man is bashing in other peoples skulls and has no place to go with all there dead bodies and thus the pile in the corner of the basement begins. The question is what do you have in the corner of your basement? What are your nine half rotted bodies? Where did you go wrong? What path was not chosen? What advice did you not take? No one really knows, do they, could it be the fault of our stars? I don’t think so. I think it’s the choices we make, the crap we have to live with everyday. the wife that screams at us because we’re all just a bunch of no good screwups. We have our lives in a rut, were nothing but a pair of lips hanging on to a cigarette butt.

    ok, my 10 min. are up.. Thanks so much for this.. this is the funniest piece of schtick I’ve ever written!

    Reply
  7. Coach Brown

    A lot of my freehand journal writing each morning ends up like that. It is free flow of thoughts between me and God, but I trust he knows what I mean and eventually I look back and wonder what I meant, but I know what I intended it to say. So true of a suggestions. Get away from the keyboard and freely write with a pen or pencil like the old days. Good suggestion. Thanks,

    Reply
    • Joy

      That is awesome. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  8. Joy

    I started free writing last night when I was too tired to focus on any definite writing. Reading over it afterwords, a lot of it actually made sense. (It wasn’t completely free writing though, because it’s hard for me to write that way) I think I’ll do this prompt more often though when I feel stuck. Anyway, here’s my rambling gibberish:

    I don’t want to write gibberish. I feel like baby. Am I a baby? No I’m not and I don’t want to be. This is dumb. I think I will stop. But I think I’ll keep writing. The sky is blue. What is it were purple? I love purple. Or it could be green. But then the trees would be blue and that would be depressing. No, I think I like the sky blue and the trees green. But maybe just a day or two of purple skies. That would be fun. Forget it. I don’t think I want to eat chicken for dinner. Maybe I should go clean my room. I really have more important things to do than type gibberish. Oh well, this is sort of fun. Hmm. My fingers are stuck. Stop it! Keep writing. All right..I give up!

    Reply
    • Dawn Akemi

      I like the way it feels like a free associative dump. 🙂

    • Joy

      This was a fun prompt. The brain thinks in strange ways. 🙂

  9. LCRooney

    404 words of nonsense in 10 mins 😉

    There’s nothing more important than the lawyer’s briefcase and
    cuckoo clock conundrum. There is no reason not to go ahead and try it. I can’t
    even imagine what she was thinking when she heard about the coffee cup. Those
    days are far behind me now. There’s a cow in the field with the coyotes but the
    stars are out and who really cares, anyhow?

    So many people around the world sit on fence posts. The
    cowboys don’t know why. Cells phones ring in the dark but no one answers. It’s
    a cold day in hell, isn’t it? So much for wringing your hands. It’s a new day.
    The carousel spins in the cool mist by the bay. Bruce is singing somewhere but
    I can’t hear him anymore. For the life of me, there’s just no way to see that
    lighthouse. The lamb and the lion are asleep tonight.

    He left to go down the stairs into the cellar. Why isn’t she
    working today? The television and the bicycle sit side-by-side. Who will win?
    There’s no time for silliness when the hounds are at the door. I learned that
    in kindergarten. Several phonies on the corner with their phones. Sixteen
    candles all burnt out. Cover-ups and charades are the cornucopia of life. The
    canned goods sat there and said nothing. The window invited me out but it’s a
    long way down. Door ajar, I don’t know if he’s still there or not. So many
    books on the shelves, but no one to read them.

    I ate lunch today but no one was here to share and I didn’t
    care. The breeze was sufficient for company. The book calls but I can’t answer
    right now. Busy signal rings in my ears. Teddy bears and radios hunt the wild
    dogs at night. There are no words to describe her accident, not yet anyway. It’s
    in my head but not on paper. Fish swim, heads swim, the writer sinks. Such a
    lot of water in that pool.

    Failing to meet expectations is not so bad, unless the
    expectations are your own. Who can you complain to when that happens? Forlorn
    she was to think how long ago it was he left her. He, on the other hand, has
    gone fishing. Friendships hover over desert landscapes, moonglow illuminating
    the cacti. What’s it like in that foreign landscape after dark? I like my ocean
    home. So much has changed since

    Reply
    • Dawn Akemi

      I envy your ability to pour forth. So many words in so little time. And yet there are some little gems and keepers. 🙂

  10. Katherine Nederlof

    Here is mine! This was actually really fun, not to mention reading back through it I found some phrases I want to use in my writing. Definitely going to do this more often!

    Six dots like the summer sky when lightning struck the rich wet soil. I knew then that I had done it, that it was finished and going back would be a pain. I don’t know how the green eyes of cats and dogs, fish and birds could be so bright, but they struck my soul and now I’m falling. Faster and faster, decaying air all around. I know who I am, I know where to find me. I know. I know. But I just can’t move. It’s all for naught when they come a calling, knocking at my door with fists of steel and sharp lines of noses. They are who they sat they are, and yet they are cold, damp with the dew of mid morning rain. It’s all in my mind that I see the beauty of light through raindrops and skid marks on pavement. I am that skid mark, black and tarnish with the leaves of fall crumbling all around me. But who are you? Do I know you? Are you my brother? With your eyes so dark and your hair so long, I would laugh if you had not looked at my with such steel and pain. Suffering is not new to you. Is it? Or did I read this all wrong? You were right, grandfather. The world is vast and no man can step foot on every stretch of it. But the sea is moving and the air is warm and for once, just once. I am home. Blue and purple mixed with pinkish red as I paint my mother on the infinite white stretch. I see her there with hair so golden and cheeks so slim. The day is almost gone and time had fled me. I knew you when I walked those paths of darkness. Do not remind me. Do not remind me of the shadows, they swallow your light, and now what are you? Do you weep, good sir? Do you weep for your wife and children. Do you weep for me? Or did it all turn to dust in the wind and flotsam in the sea. I m stuck to this earth and the sky is calling. Like a pain in my chest I stretch but it is just out of reach. Are you there, my love? Is that you calling? But I am shackled to this earth, this house, and maybe in my heart of hearts I do not what to leave. That cannot be, with you waiting just out of reach. With your dark as night hair and a song on your lips, you are there, are you not? Pencil scratches on paper as I read that last letter that spills ink on my shirt and blossoms words in my heart.

    Reply
    • Dawn Akemi

      Feels like your character made a vast discovery.

    • Susan Smith-Grier

      There are some really powerful phrases in this. It’s kind of dark but at the same time a little hopeful. Good job!

    • CarolynL

      Breathtaking! I loved this

    • Dawn Atkin

      Wow!
      Fun and awesome.
      Wasn’t this a great exercise.
      Regards
      Dawn

    • Joy

      Wow! This is spectacular gibberish. One of my favorite parts is “The world is vast and no man can step foot on every stretch of it. But the sea is moving and the air is warm and for once, just once. I am home. ”
      The last line stood out to me too! Great stuff. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  11. Dawn Akemi

    Here it is, typos and all:

    My mind will not leg go in to substitute madness where every thing is right and all is nothing. Flying free is tethered, nothing is the sky and yet I still want my wings to unfold, unfeathered into the great abyss like death in the night. Wetness weighs me down in the tears of my soul into sensical. Untie I say. The invisible bonds contort into controlling nonsense and my head overwhelms my body’s yearnings to dance with stars that shine all day. Sense is everything say I as if I can make sense of anything. Would fingers tap out rhythms which no one can see but me. Blackness fights. Light wins. Permanent blindness oversaturated by bugs in the eyes crawling from my brain, from the efforts of making it all make sense. Nothing is sense. As like to know everything. The empty abyss is like wisdom.

    Reply
    • Grey Gregory

      I love the metaphors and mental pictures, especially “bugs in the eyes crawling from my brain,” which is vivid and creates a reaction of disgust. This piece was fun to try and decipher the thoughts behind the word pictures.

    • Dawn Akemi

      Thanks, Grey!

    • Dawn Atkin

      Love it.
      Especially “would fingers tap out rhythms which no e can see but me”
      That little bit of gibberish really struck me.
      This is a cool piece that stretches itself between dark and light. And feels like a ‘yearning’.
      Kind Regards
      Dawn

    • Dawn Akemi

      Thanks, Dawn!

  12. Susan Smith-Grier

    I was going to do this while sitting in the recovery room after a little procedure but decided to wait till I got home. Now I’m more awake, almost…

    Needles prick the skin while blood flows up the tube going
    down my throat and I’m asleep because they made me that way to keep me from
    noticing the camera going into my stomach to make sure there were no
    unnecessary dodads down there keeping me from living long enough to make my
    kids take me out to the woods to be left for bear bait in the middle of nowhere
    which is where this is going right now, but that’s okay because, oh boy I forgot to set the timer and that’s a real bummer because I have no idea how long I’ve been writing but I’m too lazy to start over fresh because all I really want to do is go to sleep which is what I coulda been doing this morning after I woke up from being put to sleep.

    And I suppose I can actually have some punctuation in here somewhere
    from time to time if I think it’s necessary, but it really isn’t and in my real
    writing life I am severely allergic to runon sentences so this would normally cause me to be quite ill but there is something about doing writing exercises that are antithetical to how one normally does things that somehow clears the air and makes writing against the
    grain some kind of satisfying.

    Posting this mess for others to read though may be a little
    intimidating because I know for sure that my mind actually does move in runon
    sentences with one thought flowing into another and some people may think that
    is crazy but on the other hand it may be just a little or maybe even a lot
    eccentric. But either way it is how my marbles roll and that’s not all bad. It’s
    only when the marbles stop or when I lose a few that life becomes impossible or
    at least a little difficult and look I’m beginning to slowly edge back toward
    normalcy since there are a few periods in this paragraph.

    Maybe I’m not as good at writing gibberish as I thought I’d
    be…

    Reply
    • Dawn Akemi

      It’s gibberish inspired by your recent event. I don’t think there are rules to gibberish. 🙂

  13. Grey Gregory

    I had a little too much fun writing this. The beginning was random, but I started more or less developing a theme as the writing went along while staying abstract and nonsensical.

    The face of insanity grew greater with every passing second.
    The minute was new, the hour was new, but the thoughts were the same as always.
    Gray, dark gray, almost black. The lines were swirling through the air, on the
    paper, over the treetops, in the backyard. They all connected somewhere,
    somehow. He knew they did. Around the corner, a birdsong. Across the street, a
    child playing. It was all an apparition. It merely hid what lay beneath, the
    deeper, darker truth that few had the courage to face. Insane, he was. But not
    merely insane. Maniacal. Calculating. All the fireworks were under control,
    focused into a single ray of purpose. His insanity was his soul. No, he had no
    soul. The forest fires of others had burned out his soul and replaced it with
    ashes, charred ruins. The things he’d seen, the horrors he’d witnessed, the
    truths he’d uncovered, were enough to drive anyone mad. Yet they only existed
    in his mind. He had driven himself insane. His game of tempting evil had grown,
    become more earnest. The stakes had been high. At last, he fell. He should have
    known it was impossible to know the universe. He should have seen it coming.
    Yet, in his pursuit of knowledge, of superstition, of fact, of fiction, he had
    lost his foothold, his anchor in reality. First the overly inquisitive student,
    then the sightless scholar, then the brooding plotter, until the evil had eaten
    away everything that had been good about him. The light was nothing to him
    anymore. It had no meaning, save a distraction, an interruption in his passive
    meditation, his scheming. No one knew who he was anymore. No one knew the power
    he wielded, in his own mind. No one knew if the power could be dangerous. He
    himself did not know. All he knew was that the madness was overtaking him, and
    he would follow it wherever it led. To the heights or to the depths, but most
    likely the depths. He hoped the depths. The heights had no appeal to him
    anymore. Too dangerous, too bright, too clear. The darkness was safer, and
    allowed him to forget what he was outside of his own mind.

    Reply
    • Dawn Akemi

      A creeping withdrawal into enveloping darkness and madness. I feel sorry for the character.

    • CarolynL

      What a chilling, yet engrossing piece. It really peaked my interest, while reading more of it.

    • Sandra D

      Cool ending.

  14. Marcy Mason McKay

    My lawnmower needs balls. The duck ran after the train. The clock ran up the mouse. I want dance on my house. Water is overflowing. I was so cold I almost burned to death. The heat dishes water soap. Free my mind the outside wears me out, though I’m afraid to share the inside.

    OMG, Joe, this was fun. I’ve often told people. Just write, but JUST WRITE GIBBERISH is so much better. It give you permission to totally suck, and takes all the pressure off. TY!

    Reply
    • Sandra D

      I like the opposites. So cold I burned. Clock ran up the mouse.

    • TrepTiger

      ::chuckles darkly:: I like this very much. I think tomorrow I shall sit in the corner mumbling this repetitively. Seriously, I love it!

    • Dawn Atkin

      Yes indeed. It deserves to be taken to a corner and mumbled over and over again. Great comment.
      Regards Dawn

    • Dawn Atkin

      Love it.
      I also like Trep Tiger’s comment about sitting in a corner and mumbling it repetitively.
      Regards Dawn

  15. LoverGirl

    why don’t you take me to funky town? you kind of did this morning when you used the bathroom infornt of me, number 2 it seemed like. very weird. I guess its my turn to show you what I can drop off at the pool. summertime is gross this year due to my wardrobe being strictly winter and black. no specific reason just fat. I laugh at myself endlessly cause I think I a m hilarious. am I the only one. yes. ok maybe you who used the bathroom in front of me thinks I’m funny as well as funny looking. and when I saw funny looking I’m not talking about my face cause im beautiful. I make funny faces cause it throws people off from what I am really thinking, like how much I want to spread this cookie butter on your face and lick it off. nothing sexual I just want cookie butter and im weird. so this cup of coffee that stinks up my office is so me. other people have electric candle scenters…whatever that is and some people have dirty sock…whatever those smell like and I have sitting old coffee. lets take a lunch break. I like food. alow me to tip the server cause I want to tell him he needs deodorant. don’t serve me paste with stinky pits. Hi Id like the chicken parm..hold the B.O. This didn’t happened. Iam actually dating someone who doesn’t believe in deodorant and he delivers food. but I like the way he smells. its not stinky..its manly.what does this man smell like? like comfort and rest and new. he smells new..since we as a couple are new. the old guy didn’t smell too great. he smelled like ashy skin and bad cheese when he sweat. could it have something to do with the color of their skin? I know I know it has almost everything to do with what they eat? in that case I must smell like a peperoni pizza. I could just eat me. My mom has a unique smell and so does my dad. I could close my eyes and know they walked into a room. I wonder what I smell like. like when im the little spoon and his face is buried in my hair…what does it smell like? i’m hoping a flower cause I love them…or pepperoni pizza.

    Reply
  16. High Wire Girl

    Last night, I dreamt that I wrote a tutorial. From what I could gather, my tutorial was a pretty big deal. It’s unclear what the tutorial was about. It’s not important. Here’s what I do know. Everybody in the dream was impressed with my ability. Even though I was asleep, I experienced instant dream world popularity, and it felt very real.

    A big party was thrown in my honor to celebrate me and my informative tutorial. Food was served; fancy treats like Ritz crackers with squeeze cheese, olives and a chocolate fountain. When conscious, I love all of these things. Guests were approaching me left and right. They thanked and congratulated me. Apparently, my tutorial had changed their lives.

    I recognized no one at this high profile media event. Still, I was confident and self-assured. Most folks were friendly, and I guess that’s what counts. Some of the men at the party wore beards. I didn’t let any of those guys hug me. Yuck.

    When I woke up this morning, I realized several things. First of all, I sleep with my mouth open and because I do, my pillow is always wet. Next, I don’t own the backless gown that I wore to the dream reception. If I did, I’d definitely wear it all the time – even to the grocery store. I looked sensational. Most importantly, I wasn’t even quite certain what a tutorial is. So I did a little research.

    Wow! Tutorials are everywhere. I’m almost pretty sure I could definitely write one. I would make my tutorial FREE so that all people would be able to enjoy it, at no cost to them. Now, it’s just a matter of deciding what to write about. Some people write tutorials about computers, but I’m not gonna do that because I don’t really like computers all that much.

    I’m more interested in other things, so I think I’ll start there.

    Reply
    • Christine

      Good one!
      I’d be interested to read Part II: What tutorial would you write?
      I’ve tutored new immigrants, helping them to learn English. (If I had to learn it now I’d be bonkers.) Can you imagine yourself trying to explain why a nose runs and feet smell?

    • High Wire Girl

      I appreciate the interest. And I’ll give some thought to more serious tutorial pursuits.

    • Grey Gregory

      It’s fascinating the way the speaker’s dream while asleep inspires a real-life dream for success.Creative idea!

    • High Wire Girl

      Most of my dreams are nuts. Every once in a while, I’ll have some clarity upon waking. If I write it down immediately, I have better luck remembering… Thanks for the comment.

  17. Alana Lindsay

    Tickle my feverish arm and fill the fertile churn with grease and monkey drippings. Feel me and kill my muse. Reach inside and pull out a dollop of greatness – run with me. Pain me. Color me. Fill me up and drink me down. I want to swim with your pirate ship of wonders and delight in the sound of you. I want you on my skin. I love the dolphin song of your mother. I try not to cry when it’s over. Don’t look at me. I’m so sorry and so full of happiness. Confusion is my bedfellow. Cheese is my addiction. Reach my ranch and take me in. you don’t need anyone else, only me and my blue heart. I’ll take your longing and dissolve it into wine and drink it with a kiss. You want to know a secret? There are no secrets. The world knows everything. I know everything. You know nothing. And yet we keep asking you for all the answers. Just go fool your grandmother. I don’t believe in you anymore. You have no hold in my heart. All my bones reject you and I will have no more love of life in your presence. Go fly. Go drown. Go dream. I don’t care. Whey and chaff. Wheat and Ice. Velvet moons under the summer sky sleep the dawn in my childish core. Fettered freedoms and rice. Rivers of molten blood and summer syrup. I don’t feel feverish in the dark. Who needs pineapples? I don’t. Ripe jeans full of fruit and longing. Mouse fear and zippers. Don’t steal from my mother. Don’t rip my world. Don’t pierce my fantasies. Don’t. Don’t. Why not? Why should I listen to you? Why should any of us hear you? I don’t. Fill me up and spill me out. I’m a little teapot you know. Figure it out.

    Reply
    • Dawn Atkin

      Excellent!

    • Susan W. A.

      Interesting. These phrases especially drew my mind back to read again:

      “I want to swim with your pirate ship of wonders and delight in the sound of you. …I love the dolphin song of your mother.”

      Thanks for your thoughts.

  18. CarolynL

    I’m really starting to like this idea of writing in gibberish a whole lot. The rules of grammar and writing start to lift, while the doors of wild creativity unleash. Talk about freely writing to the max. Thanks for the post! Great advice. Here’s my take of writing nonsense and abstract things. It doesn’t make any sense, but I had a lot of fun. I warned you.

    Sometimes I want to implode. Whatever that means. Things just don’t go. Things aren’t mathematical. They just inflate and digress into a blob of lifelessness. And in life, that means untangling, solving, resolving, and revolving in a house of problem-solving. I wish I had a road map to it all. I see it. I know its there, sitting like a demented, egregious monster, pulling me with all of it’s dread.

    Tears don’t make due. They roll off into infinite space in a galaxy of morendo farewells . Stars glitter in the gloom, but darkness still rules the night like a king. I call forth the heavens to undo to all that has been done. To bring back all that I lost, because it was I who lost it. It’s a long ride to that place of peace I dream in my dreams. It’s one we all have to partake and tackle away. Dreams never ending in the hanger, hanging, when will I wear that spectacular dress?

    A plain white top and a simple bottom, monotonous colors of vagueness, are my daily profess. Who am I, can I find my color in the end? In a 4 by 4 box, I am in. Contained, suppressed, and intoxicated in my own life that cracks itself in shatters. Then, I become infinite particles of matter, and nobody in the end will think I matter.

    The door awaits me for my exit of all of this. It sits there in grayness, simple and serene like the color green. A turn of a hand is all it takes to spill all of life out. In zesty and zig-zag sparks, it’ll shine in beauty and wonders. All it takes is a turn of the knob, and this dream-like haze of what I want versus what is have will end.

    Reply
    • Susan W. A.

      Loved piecing together the images and imagining this was a piece that was just beyond my grasp to understand . I enjoyed it.

    • CarolynL

      Thank you! I’m glad the nonsense in a way worked out. I was getting a little worried it might be overlooked as some crazy piece. I can’t help myself, but explain; I’ll just say it was a mix of many emotions and desires, especially with the idea of wanting breakthrough.

  19. Dawn Atkin

    Oh bingo! Best prompt ever. Just let it roll. Like a tiger on a slippery slope to never never land. Where all is nice and fairies bake cakes and princes kiss frogs just in case. Well just incase something happens. Like the Lotto. When the big brass bells ring a ling a ling and then begin to sing old traditional tunes in languages lost, drowned, buried forgotten.

    And now they orbit the giant wizard trees with fronds that float and shimmer and sweep the sky clean. And earth shrubs that brush the debris away and keep the paths sparkling and free of clitter clatter clutter.
    This is joy. This is a the upward glide of a great big swing beneath an old oak tree. Up, up and into the sky of diamonds and rainbows and reindeers and unicorns. Did you say unicorns. Yes unicorns! For real. Yes for real.
    I’m tripping over my own release, I’m bending at the knees, buckled over in the hunger of laughter, gasping in the breath of life unencumbered. I am singing and swinging and laughing and crying and hugging and beholding the unrestricted me. Tumble over, forward roll, grip my knees releases my soul into this abyss of gibberish. Awesome. Awesome.
    Come on in, the air is fine. It’s silky and sleek and slips through this dress, this best, this rumour of reality and sparkles me clean. Woo Hoo. Te hee. I’m free. I’m free.

    Reply
    • Susan W. A.

      A scrumptious piece, as always. Thanks for the rich language.

    • Dawn Atkin

      Thanks Susan.
      Seems like we all had a bit of fun with this one. 🙂
      Kind Regards
      Dawn

    • TrepTiger

      Sweet

    • Dawn Atkin

      Thanks Trep Tiger.
      Great exercise. My favourite line is – ‘this rumour of reality’. Gonna use that one again.
      Regard
      Dawn

    • TrepTiger

      This rumor of reality, I like that. I like that very much. I am going to use that in some darker writing.

    • Joy

      This is some fun writing. It makes me smile. I loved the phrase about the upward glide of a big swing beneath an old oak tree. That’s some great imagery. In fact, the whole piece is filled with beautiful imagery. Great job!

    • Dawn Atkin

      Thanks Joy. This was a joyous way to start the day. 10 minutes of gibberish. I’m definitely going to invite it in for breakfast as often as possible.
      Kind Regards
      Dawn

    • Joy

      Ha ha! That’s great! 🙂

    • Margie Deeb

      I love this, Dawn!

    • Dawn Atkin

      Thanks Margie.
      A bit of unedited gibberish for breakfast this morning helped me smile through the rest of the day.
      Kind Regards
      Dawn

    • AnnM

      Love it. I know it’s supposed to be gibberish but it has a joyful feel to it and makes me smile.

    • Dawn Akemi

      Your gibberish world felt like being a fairy in fantasy land. Yes, free!

    • Michael Follen

      It was nice bouncing around in your fantasy brain!

  20. Sandra D

    There is no time in my time. There is no place in this place. You look further south, But there is only dirt. Dirt is the stuff God has. He breathes on it and manniquins appear. I feel the tender feelers on my brush. I touch the tender fuzz upon the back of my neck. It can stand, but it can also fall. I can stand, but I can also collapse. I can collapse further into the darkness, but I am still awake. I still breathe. I have a green pen. No it is a marker. With it I can mark the future path. I can write more paths in it. Tangled like a web is tangled. I dreamt when I was a little girl that there was a spider big as a house and the spider had a web. It was a web for me to fall into, for its food. I would be a tasty meal, and I feel the venom go into me. Into my skin and I fall deeper and deeper into the hollow spots. There was a place where damp sex happened once and I felt ashamed and raw. I saw eyes that made me feel ugly. Ugly to what is right. And on his walls he collected bottles of alcohal with all sorts of pretty designs. All perfectly centered. He liked to make perfect straight lines on a paper and he drew a skull. He spent hours and hours making sure everything was perfect.

    And the chalk of graphite became a tool of precision for him, for accuracy. I stalked that room. I did not belong there, the damp cave of his lunacies. But he howled laughter that I was, that he had caught me. The smiling the listening, the saying that he loved me and the sighing of a tear. And in his eyes now, the spider was drinking me away.

    I have a coil on my desk, I could trace it with my finger if I wanted to. I could count the seconds as it moved. 1 second 2 second. Rippling through time, years gone by. Corner markets, walking everywhere. Sidewalks, parks, waterfronts, weed patches. I would walk across town and back in one day. It would take all day. But I would do it anyway.

    I liked chocolate then, and those cool frappachinos. I would get one. It was so sweet and cold.

    I pulled my bandage off. I had to, it was fraying apart. My finger had healed anyway. It didn’t matter.

    Reply
  21. Adelaide Shaw

    I have to say that writing gibberish has opened up all the writers here. The posts are full of insights, humor, anger, sadness, wonder and so many other emotions. Many of them can become poems with some careful editing for logic and continuity, punctuation and spacing. This was a very useful exercise. I must try it again.

    Reply
    • Dawn Atkin

      Yes I agree Adelaide. It has been a marvellous revelation. So much rhythm and madness, insight and seeking, and creative revelations.
      I’m going to keep this as line of my favourite loosen up tools.
      Kind Regards
      Dawn

    • Joy

      Definitely. This has been a fantastic prompt! =D

  22. Sandra D

    white lake, steam rise, furrow your brow, come with me lady, feel the wave, whip and wick. Shooo fly don’t you bother me. The pages of a book have the stories in it. I like to see what you have to say and I do just read more into your words. I put on my phones and let the music sing, and I love music for its brutal honesty and prettyness. What will happen in the long term if someone did this exercise everyday? Would there be something new and interesting, or is it better to plan the writings and make the words bend to the will or attempt and let go and let the words take off. Where do words go when you let them free? It seems random to spurt off random words, random thoughts, but there is always a reason behind it. Nothing is really random. That is the scary part of imagination. Imagination is so exciting because it promises to take you off some place far away and wonderful but if you understood the meaning of the place… Life is a game this way, there is us and there is truth and people, us, we play these games with the truth. Often hiding from it, because it can hurt so bad, so bad we cannot take it except for when it finds us and forces growth. But our minds never let us take on more then we can. This is the nature of the subconscious. If it was too much we’d grow numb, we submerge the pain deeper in our brain for some other time.

    And when we have children without awareness we pass on these issues on and until someone in the chain can break it, the pain passes on. They say, “The sins of the father become the sins of the son.” That has been one of my favorite quotes. And it seems so unfair, an innocent born in the world as the person grows inherits all sorts of little things, anxieties, blow ups, denials.

    Reply
    • Dawn Atkin

      Splendid. A delightful pick wack trick spick mick junk through your velvet rum scum fum.
      Great sharing.
      We’re all mad here,. I’m so grateful for this mad prompt. It’s been so freeing. Do you agree?
      Kind regards
      Dawn

    • Sandra D

      Thanks, it’s mad alright. That’s all I know. But it was interesting.

    • Joy

      Green greasy limpop river! Keep gibbering! 🙂

    • Sandra D

      oh that was a line from the children’s book The Elephants Child. I love that book it has a lot of great lines.

    • Joy

      Ha ha! That’s cool! 🙂

  23. Dan Suptic

    As a new writer, I get stuck frequently. I’ll give the 10 minutes of gibberish a try here.

    Ambrosia is poison. Take too much and you’ll be happy. Is it time for my medicine? I can’t remember which spoon to use for it.
    Only on Tuesday do the wild badgers come out. The party can last until Dawn. Not the time, the dish soap.
    My last shoe left me today. I cried for hours but it took my socks and ran away. Was there not enough love, or maybe too much? Or it was money, that would be my bet if I had any money left.
    Teeth are hard to eat. Once you get them out, what do you use to eat them with?
    I keep typing and wondering if any of the words means anything. Of course words mean things, but are things that mean things meaningful?
    I played a video game and the character died when I ran into spikes. He was made of metal, but he couldn’t handle spikes.
    My foot is a pendulum, and it’s swinging back and forth and back and forth. It hits the chair like a tomato against a wooden screen. Making a sound like “QUILMP!”
    Typing typing little words. Little lies on little worlds. Typey Skypey. Wait, I don’t have Skype installed. My fingers falled and numbers called and I’m appalled that I stalled when installing the Skype software. Phones are just supposed to be PHONES, you know?
    Timer counting down to disco day. You have to dance, but you don’t have to move. It’s ok.
    Look left and right now dodge the tiger. The tiger has a +14 chance to hit, but if you took Guarding Stance and Undeniable Defense, you can roll 23d6 and add the result to your Amnesia score (doing so reduces Spiffy Hats by 10 for your next action, so make sure you’re not wearing anything electric or colorful).
    Black text white background or white text black background. Either way, it my two favorite colors.
    I want to glance at the timer but I bet it would YELL AT ME. Always yelling in the dark. Sometimes a pinhole of light hits me, but I yell at that too and it goes away.
    My mailbox isn’t filled with pasta sauce, and that’s just a really sad thing.
    BUZZZZZZ timer just went off. That’s 10 minutes.

    Well. Ok. I definitely feel like writing NON-gibberish will be easier after that… but… I’m kinda scared of my own brain now 😐

    Reply
    • Dawn Atkin

      Yes. Yes. Be scared of your own brain. 😉
      Great exercise – do you agree?
      Thanks for sharing.
      Regards Dawn

    • Dan Suptic

      You’re welcome! I agree completely – very fun and useful exercise!

    • Abigail Rogers

      I think we’d all be scared of our own brains if we had every thought typed out on white paper! My favorite: “The party can last until Dawn. Not the time, the dish soap.”

    • Dan Suptic

      I’d actually buy and read a compilation of famous authors rambling on for 10 minutes each. It’d be scary and amazing.

  24. TrepTiger

    Time is warm and the egg is moist! I must get tot he warp pad before the tiny grapefruit boil over in the bracabrac sauce. Why? because clay elephants wading in the ocean leave no tracks on the tonsils of mega mouthed clams and snail tongues licking daisies. Just because your sky is blues does not mean that my shoes are, too tiny to see with a telescopic zoom lens. Still, there might be another thing coming in the dryer venting about the crowds on the bus going down the drain spout to wash the spider out, but out comes the sun stroke will stop them in their tracks across the freshly laid concrete all smooth and floated no flaws or wrinkles and not too bloated. Hey, my tongue’s not coated, that bag has not been toted, he gloated, my he got my goated the lilly pad was toaded, it was fully loaded, or so the reported noted and the proud mother doted over her little tadpoles wiggling in the puddle drying fast beneath the sin that was drying up the rain so that the spider could crawl up the spout again. With this final thought I leave you, tuna does not fly on the north winds of yesteryear!

    Reply
    • Grey Gregory

      The last sentence made me laugh. I can imagine one of the characters in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” pompously declaring it as unquestionable wisdom.

    • TrepTiger

      Lol! Grey Gregory, I am thrilled that you enjoyed that so. It was fun writing it. I have to agree, now that you mention it, perhaps the Mad Hatter could say such a thing.

    • Joe Bunting

      Very fun! Great stuff, Trep!

    • TrepTiger

      Thank you, Joe. I typed it into the space here just as it came to mind.

    • Dawn Atkin

      Love it. It’s a perfect blend of madness and rhythm. And makes perfect sense to me.
      Regards Dawn

    • TrepTiger

      Huzzahhhahhahahaaa!!

    • Margie Deeb

      Very Fun! So fun to read! Thank you!

    • TrepTiger

      Thank you. It was a hoot writing it

    • TrepTiger

      So glad that you enjoyed it. I was a bit afraid that someone would report me for having escapes a hospital or something. Thank you

    • Joy

      Ha ha ha! Great! 🙂

    • TrepTiger

      So glad that you enjoyed it.

    • Susan W. A.

      The flow…the connections…the wit…and yes the rhythm. I like how your brain works.

    • Abigail Rogers

      Oh, this made me giggle! I love the jumping from one connotation of a word to another–like a goat skipping from lily-pad to lily-pad. 🙂

    • TrepTiger

      I like that liked my little list of lines. 😉

  25. Susan W. A.

    I’ll do the 10-minute gibberish exercise, too, but I wanted to share a related stream-of-consciousness exercise I did years ago trying to get “unstuck” in an environment of cubicles and mindless management. (The spacing is a bit off here because of the differences in width. If this posts the way it is showing as I’m typing, the lines with one or two words are actually included in the previous line.)

    ******

    And then she thought good thoughts and healthy thoughts and growing thoughts and calm
    thoughts and peaceful thoughts and her heart lightened and her mind soared and she felt the
    positive change happening, and the hope was present

    she knew she was responsible for her own thoughts and feelings and health and that she had
    more power than any negative surroundings

    the future was bright and fulfilling and the present is the first step of the future

    so this is the basis and the training and the soil and the piece of the puzzle which will be
    illuminated and reveal itself when the other pieces join in to create the picture which shifts and
    flows and ebbs and changes as is the definition of life and learning and love

    which I have in abundance which is the value of life the importance of life the meaning of
    life what
    a joy to have clarity and purpose

    Reply
    • Dawn Atkin

      Love it… Telling yourself what you already know. 🙂
      Susan does your W.A stand for West Aussie?
      Just wondered because that’s where I am.
      Regards Dawn

  26. Gita Madhu

    I set the timer for ten minutes and began to type. Timers are a huge favourite of mine. They’re useful to time the two short meditations I try to have each day. They served a purpose during the Fly Lady phase. “Set your timer for five minutes and clear clutter, clean the sink…” All of which supposedly liberates you to find the precious time to fulfil dreams. I can safely trash that-all it does is make you clean sinks and toilets and spend a day divided by the minutes of a timer. Life is much too short. Reminders of time passing such as calendars and clocks serve no other purpose than to compartmentalize life into slices of time. And what is time? Time is ultimately never the same -that is, the concept of time as seconds and minutes and months and the like is merely an abstraction. Time can only be “measured” later in terms of the effects. Washing dishes or finishing the article which brings a paycheck are both only “useful” to something (basically the use of finishing off with pieces of time) but do not serve the real purpose of why they are undertaken at all. Everything is done ultimately for something in a near or distant future. Even this exercise is just another exercise in futility. I wonder how I’m to create a paragraph here. If I were to press enter? Looks like that would just post my entry and anyway the timer has gone off!

    Reply
  27. Shababa

    Hi. Is there any tips for writing essays here?

    Reply
  28. Carlo Armanni

    Really good tips, thanks for writing. Is there also some advice for writing a final for the story?

    Reply
  29. Dawn Atkin

    I had so much fun this morning with Gibberish that I decided to do just one more before I saunter off to bed (Southern Hemisphere). Good night.

    et the acorns fall. A mish mash on the ground of turtle colours and unseen seeds. I breathe. I fable. I pick a dangling flower blowing in the breeze, lost in the mist, trying to survive. I see, said the acorn. Do you really. I’m impressed. The turtle vest has clung unwed to my leg. Threads of silver curls and golden stocking silk stalk my calf. Where is the elk. He’s left the scene. He’s cantered off into his own dream. A harem of female deer ready to receive his manliness and horny head and red sleek back and unhocked heels. Stilettos creep and pierce the ground the elk turns around from his distant gaze. He seems amazed. Holy in his frock of fur and knots of unclimbed tales.

    The wind knocks the gladiolis sitting in a pot stenched and fed with weeds and dozy dandelions and sprinkles of chocolate earth. Bursting through the terracotta seams frogs legs gently squeeze out into the light. You gave me a fright. I’m sort of here, he said. The elk raised his head and stallions danced across the moon who had woken up too early and decided to rise before the sun had slipped its scarlet sari down the western eye. I yawned; too much colour for my bed ready head. There is no sense in this ship that today I hurriedly wed. Bring me my bed. Oak shimmied laden boughs and whittled a gnarly hammock laced in autumn brackish leaves and pulled me in. I sneezed. Hay fever you see. This blurry vision it offers me. I am squeezed between realities. And I drift off now in to the pleasure of un-shut sleep. Happily.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      A harem of deer, huh? Yikes, that sounds like trouble. 🙂 Great practice, Dawn!

    • TrepTiger

      The turtle vest makes me giggle.

  30. Jamuna

    I started the timer on my phone. Here I am writing Gibberish. I wonder if that is a real language. Who are the Gibbers anyway? Do they live in Gibberia. It rhymes with Siberia which is very cold cold place. Cold places have penguins, eskimos, sledges, and Santa Claus!! Cold places also make me feel cold and sneeze so much. But sadly I also live in a hot country, I wish I was in Siberia right now! Siberians rhymes with librarians. Libraries are one of my favourite places. So many many pages of books. So many things to read. I love reading! I will live out my entire life with some bread, water and books! Is it true that people don’t completely read long paragraphs? Is it true you can simply insert some random stuff which makes no sense and nobody will notice. Perhaps Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown and Baba black sheep have any wool? Yes sir yes sir three bags full. Johnny johnny. yes papa. Writing gibberish? No papa. Telling lies? No papa. Show me your screen. Hahaha. Why on earth do we have a time limit for such meaningless writing. Do you know how hard it is to write meaningless nonsense? My brain is not a garbage can of meaningless things. I am a proper, clear, objective thinker! Stop making me write in Gibberish… like what the Gibberians write! Save me..! Save me from the tynarry of the Gibberians!! And oh, my fingrs ae refusng to typ sch nonsen……

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Those Gibberians are so crazy!

  31. 709writer

    The “writing gibberish” exercise is similar to another exercise that really works for me. Well, it’s not really an exercise per say, but it’s just a way to write that helps words flow more easily. I type a lot of my work, but one thing that has always helped me is to write with good ol’ pen and paper. There’s just something about physically writing that unlocks my creativity. A lot of times I’ll be stuck when I use Microsoft Word, but when I pull out my notebook and use my pen, the words start to come. The gibberish exercise does make sense, though.

    Reply
    • Grey Gregory

      Yes, writing physically as opposed to digitally makes a difference for me too. It seems like when writing on paper, you are allowed to cross out mistakes and write in the margins and say whatever you like since you’ll be transcribing it to the computer later anyway and can edit then.

    • Joe Bunting

      I love doing that, 709. We probably have even posted on it at some point on The Write Practice. Thanks for mentioning this, though!

  32. Abigail Rogers

    While not absolute complete gibberish, I tried to type without stopping, just pouring out the next word in my mind.

    Things we call senseless, meaningless, just a bloody show and a spectacle and heartbreak everywhere. Nothing to do, say, turn off the TV and cry just a second because there’s nothing. Humble but confused. Helpless. We’re not Obama but everything surges and wishes for a half moment, then nothing. Black, nonsense, just another tide of emotions with nothing to hold it on. Bobbing in the water, ripples, stationary and purposeless. Holding down in reality while the world spins and there’s nothing to do but sit, sit and hope that it all blows over sooner or later.

    A black wave of emotion is all we give, small token to a life cut short, but there it is. We’re drained of emotion. Our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blog-reading, book-loving, podcast-listening, stopwatch generation with Sesame-Street-attention-spans, helpless to actually feel something and run with it. To do something for crying out loud and Pete’s sake.

    No. We sit back on our haunches and cry a second and then on to the next thing. Baby shower, engagement, night on the town, reminiscence, old friends, photo, photo with cool filter, lunch out, diamond ring, death in the family, world crisis, global warming, the Hindenburg, life and love and pain and futile enjoyment all passing in front of our eyes in five-second soundbites. That’s all we cope with. Then we turn off the screens, light to black and turn and there is the real world in all its dull plainness and we can’t help but think that there’s no connection, nothing to link the two. Broken complaining, harsh and brutal, it enters not our world. Blood has no place with the diapers and the jobs and the paperweights of life. Tragedy is a broken date, a lost key, the small thing eating up our days with frustration and anger. Stub a toe, end of the world as we know it.

    It’s harsh and hard out there, we know, but the brain explodes with knowledge. There’s too much to think too much to feel, and we shut down. Shut down. Like a computer, a car, sewing machine stops humming, LED lights die, sound fades, sun sinks, child drops into his bed. We collapse and the light goes dark because there’s nothing to be done. Simple apathy. Negligence. Condemnation-worthy? Or human nature.

    Were we meant to drink it all in, to feel so much, to understand it all? Drink it in and spit it back out. Regurgitate, taught from kindergarten. That’s all we’re good for. Stuff with knowledge and we’ll learn, stuff with emotions and we’ll feel. But it’s not true. Limited to the sphere of our own pain, where is the loss? Why feel the pain of billions when two lives, three, will do? Enough trouble here, how can we mourn the loss of thousands at every corner of the globe? Hateful news, dragging down, weighting eyes with tears not shed a hundred years ago. The prairie man on the waving fields, he didn’t cry for the Chinese and the Bolivians.

    Reply
    • Grey Gregory

      It’s all about balance: we should be aware that more goes on in the world outside of our sheltered, materialistic environment, and that knowledge can give us the proper perspective on the good and bad in our own lives. On the other hand, we don’t have the capacity to handle the grief and troubles of the whole world and still bear our own struggles and responsibilities. Your last sentence is a great reminder. Nice job writing about an important topic which we would do well to think about more often.

    • TrepTiger

      Poignant and to the point. I think this more often than I care to. Thank you for writing it.

  33. Michael Follen

    I used to practice this when I was young, I would completely clear my head and just let it all out. It was kind of a meditation for me. Some writing would make sense but most of the time it was all nutty. When I get the ball rolling I can go for quite some time and it feels really good when you have that “stuck” feeling. Thank you for the post.

    Grade A gibberish:

    They were all witty. Shepherds were blushing in a full moon breeze. Freedom coursed through their veins in the evidence of the law. The painted clouds floated forth dusting the stars. A creature hid off in the forest with red lit eyes. I know it’s there but I don’t cry. it’s the immune of my past that i cannot deny. I wonder if i’ll ever fly? I saw a blue wrench turning the virtues of the captains of the boat. What if the leaves turn and never return. There is a beaten brick wall behind us but if you turn a look it’s transparent. visions of the mule shine in the midnight fuel. fixtures of the saint all along the banks of the cardboard sea. flabbergasted in a tunnel of concrete, a whirlpool of hardened backstories bounces to the tune of life. generosity gave us the condenser. Spinning around upside-down to the speckles spat from my brush. I want to forget the lush. how many birds have to fly to the dried devil’s hide? We look but we don’t see. My temple is a screened in porch.

    Have you ever seen the bee? I feel like i wonder where it will be. How many times have you dusted a frat house? Turning into your shadow falling backwards to the sea. Where does a scream get you? feelings are erased without the umbrella of disaster. It moves faster, our stigma is the plaster. teaching the sons of the sun the buns of the funds. I learn forward to inspect the edge but all i see is another ledge. what is a pledge when the fevers of our nuns can never be undone. I confess the futures of past couldn’t be bond by less.

    Reply
    • Dawn Atkin

      My temple is a screened in porch.
      Love it.
      Regards Dawn

  34. Sidney

    I’m really pleased I came across this website, it’s providing me with some great tools and helping me get through a really bad month of massive block. I’ve been spending considerable time browsing and switching between feelings of being totally inept, at other times incredibly inspired. Let the ten minutes of babble begin…

    Blue day moon dripping pool shower. June’s toes wizened and a shed not yet walnuted. Dogdream smiles halt dirt-rubbing nasty habit. Butterfly dodges fate as a window splat. Ashtray stink and cheesey not cake with marmalade (perhaps a pizza) remnants on a putrid plate when figs burst on waggling trees. The walk a distraction, the mind merely bubblewrap, but no gum on the soles of the flip flops, today, at least. The house with wheels remains absent and wonder fidgets within, messing up hair, howling through pipes. Fridge sounds like a wasp stuck in a box. Paint splodges, ancient carelessness, make an irksome mosaic. Shoulders knit and knot. Neck doesn’t click, too still, no motion breeds release-craving anxiety but the people the people ahhhhh please make them go home and let my figs grow in peace. Too long pauses furrow the brow and words don’t flow like the wind but rush by, no time to stop, not today. Lingering wait for greatness itching at feet toes legs knees hips and a scritchscratchy head. Something seeps in dreams of lunacy, lost on a bus in Greece no return ticket, fare thee well terracotta world of tiles, fare away to the lighthouse and brighten an ocean..

    Hmm. I’m not sure this one worked for me today but I’ll try it again in a notepad to eliminate fear of others reading it! Thanks.

    Reply
  35. Sandra D

    I had my doubts about this exercise. I had gotten away from free writing in general because I thought the results would be too random to be helpful. And this gibberish exercise is like the free write except on some sort of illegal adrenaline type drugs.
    But it turned out perfect, because I know what I am supposed to say but have been struggling on how to sound sincere when I haven’t been feeling it. That feeling after lot’s of outlining and knowing what should happen but now having to get the plans on the paper.
    I think that this exercise is turning out to be helpful. So thank you for sharing it.

    Reply
  36. Krithika Rangarajan

    Hey Joe

    I am ever so grateful to you for sharing this FUN tip that never occurred to me! I can write gibberish 😀

    Thank you so much
    Kitto

    Reply
  37. Dawn Atkin

    The pickle pot trucked under silky flower. Moon mane galloped slats green Lebanese
    bread. Egg danced fairy shoe on horizon of back mosque. Kabbalah groaned, red
    socks marched trumpet round for tree gobbled. Luck lost Penny wise dream floats on
    kaftan mat. Lock stressed table pine cloth of forget me knots twined excursion.
    Blasting hot furnace froze looking glass madness. Stepped flung bat oval
    collide diver. Dizzy spangled frock dugout yellow stocking.

    Rocket plane sunk mound, rover beast bellowed. Echidna shivered frill fruit bat sensor light. Skunk tweaking up ahead. Lights red. Beeping yellow can. Mad men stroking lamp. Pixie in the bin. Head carved for dinner. The ball missed the centaur and roared comet tail. Amber purple paired spark hover right. Swim through itself codger bent self said when. Knocked out floor molar spun knee caved. Very alright nearly in this out there way. Play now.

    Reply
  38. Brandon Wiegand

    Haha this is awesome advice!!! Thanks Joe!

    Reply
  39. Shirley

    Oh, Dawn. Fabulous! I mean, fabulous, darling!

    Reply
  40. Charlie Chitty

    SOMETIMES UPSTAIRS I FEEL QUITE AN ASHTRAY ON TOP OF THE STAIRS WHEN I TRIED TO EAT THE CARPET BUT ALL I COULD FIND WAS LINOLEUM. STRUNG OUT AND IT’S GONE FLUFFY WHY ARE YOU STUPID AND HOMELESS STUPID AND HOMELESS I’M EATING THE SYSTEMS OF WELFARE I TRY TO RELIEVE THE ASSASSIN OF GRIEF BY THE PRONGS OF THE TOASTER AND DIFFICULTY LIES IN THAT GODDAMN ANTELOPE THAT’S GONE INTO MY DINING ROOM KITCHEN EATING MY CHOCOLATE TOASTED FROSTIES WITH THE GOLDEN SYRUP ON THE FUCKING RUG AGAIN I TRY TO MAKE THIS WORK BUT THE WORLDS KEEP FALLING DOWN THE PAGE LIKE DRIBBLE WHEN THE BABY GERBIL IS HIBERNATING DID I MENTION I LIKE SWEDES I MET ONE ONCE UNDER THE TARMAC BUT ONLY ONCE OTHERWISE I WOULD HAVE PROBABLY KILLED HIM AUSTRIA AUSTRIA AUSTRAILIA YOU BASTARD AND THE KING TAKES TWO ROUNDING OUT FROM THIS THERE MAY JUST BE SOME WAY TO GET OUT OF THE PANTRY BUT NOT UNTIL I FIND THE DIRIGIBLE WITH THE KEY ON BOARD AND I LOOK UNDER THE STAIRCASE FOR TURPS BUT ALL I CAN FIND IS A BOX OF MATCHSTICKS FILLED WITH MY CARES AND HALF A BOTTLE OF IGUANA WHEN THE SUN GOES DOWN PERSONALLY I CAN’T FEEL THE TREES OR READ THE PENNED VERSE BIBLE BUT ON TOP OF CURRENCY THERE MIGHT BE HOPE FOR YOU YET ALTHOUGH IT’S HIGHLY UNLIKELY SINCE WE’VE REACHED THE END OF THE CLIFF AND THE MAIL HASN’T ARRIVED ON A WEDNESDAY NIGHT IN FRONT OF THE TELLY WITH A PACKET OF YOUR MOTHERS ASHES. ALL IN ALL, WE’RE GETTING CLOSE TO THE END OF WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN THE WORST THING THAT HAS ONLY EVER HAPPENED TO THE VERY BEST OF US ONCE I FIND IT HELPS TO TRY EATING THAT BAT ON THE STAIR OTHERWISE HE’LL JUST NEVER MOVE WHEN I COVERED THE DOWNSTAIRS BATHROOM IN TISSUE PAPER SHAPED LIKE BEN AFFLECK AND FEEL STRONGLY ABOUT THE WAY OTHER PEOPLE EAT RAMEN IN THIR BATHTUBS WITH THEIR PETS. DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH NOW ARE YOU SATISFIED OR CAN WE ALL JUST GO BACK TO LIVING IN TREES AND TRYING TO HAVE DEBATES WITH THE INSIDE OF A MARMOT? POTENTIALLY. BUT I FEEL AS IF THE PAINT THAT FLECKS OFF THE CEILING WLL GIVE ME BAD FEELINGS ABOUT THE GRADE SCORES OF CHILDREN IN UTAH. PERSONALLY I WILL NEVER LEAVE THE WEST INDIES UNLESS THEY COME FOR ME WHICH I EXPECT THEM TO DO. EXPECTING THEM TO, I FEEL AS IF I’VE EATEN TWELVE BIROS AND HAVE YET TO SEE ANYTHING COME OUT THE OTHER END OF A HAM SANDWICH NAMED SHARON. BELIEVE IT OR NOT THAT THERE ARE KIDS IN THE PHILLIPINES WHO OWN SEVERAL LARGE DISEASED HAMBURGERS AND WOULD CASUALLY TRADE THEM TO YOU FOR THE PRICE OF TWO YAKS BUT YOU’LL NEVER DO IT OF COURSE, BECAUSE YOU DON’T LIVE THERE AND YOU’D NEVER FIND THEM ON THE ONLY SUNDAY AT THE END OF EACH MONTH THAT THEY TRADE. MY LIPS FEEL LIKE COTTON INSIDE A TEDDY BEAR THAT ISN’T IN THE TEDDY BEAR ANY MORE. TRYING TO REMOVE EARWAX IS A FREQUENT LABOUR AND I OFTEN SIMPLY PUT SOME MILK FOIL OVER EACH HOLE TO MAKE SURE THAT NOBODY SEES THE STATE OF MY SOUL THESE DAYS.

    TRYING HARD.

    Reply
    • Celine Love

      There was something in reading this, that was fascinating. thanks for sharing Charlie.

    • Charlie Chitty

      I honestly don’t know what just happened,

  41. tia21

    gibberish? perhaps not, but this is what happened next:

    The elephant looked up to the moon and
    spun around with grace. ‘I am a ballerina now’ she cried.

    The crickets stopped serenading the
    moon and gazed at this oversized, yet graceful, ballerina in wonder.
    Slowly other creatures from the bush emerged and surrounded the still
    pirouetting elephant that was dancing alone atop the hill, by the
    light of the moon.

    Slowly a snake came slithering towards
    the elephant and started a dance of his own, wriggling, rising
    towards the moon, down to the ground again, surrounding the elephant
    – with a certain distance so as not to be stepped upon, for the
    elephant may have imagined herself a graceful ballerina but an
    elephant of considerable weight she was no less.

    Then came a tiger out from the grass
    behind them and proudly joined in the dance. Look at me she seemed to
    say, just look at me, how strong, how pretty, how smooth my movements
    are. Neither the elephant nor the snake paid attention to the tiger.

    They were all embracing the moment,
    following the music, the gentle rhythm, dancing and giving themselves
    up to just be.

    The other animals were not so sure.
    They hid away in the shadows, watching the dancers and wished they
    too could dance like this. No one was brave enough to try it out,
    what if the others thought it was rubbish dancing.

    What if they laughed? What if?

    Those were thoughts that had never
    occurred to the elephant, the snake and the tiger,

    for them it was the moment, the music,
    the light, the dance, it was all that mattered.

    Reply
    • Celine Love

      this, my friend, is a great children’s book story.

      if you got drive and passion about it, turn it into a book with colorful pictures. and share it with the youngsters and their parents !

  42. Celine Love

    SO HERE I AM, challenged.

    to write gibberish. its an exercise.

    Challenged, to live a life like them wildflowers that grow so tall, no one can stop them, they are invincible. just like wild animals whose immune systems still function, unbeatable, brave, hot, hard cores, all over the grassy floors. taught, i was not, taught i was far away and far up. Yet, i am here now and learn i will here now, all is this giant soup of entertainment and frolicking fun and fools and guns and tools and interesting cave writings and interesting baby gazes…. all this learning to be done, what fun what fun and since i know i live on plant earth i can spread my heart out on sheets of paper and write gibberish like the maid of space honor on top of children who like read on stages and mean mister piano man who steals our ages i am not who you thought i am was but now its time to ring the bells as the child yells ‘moommy i want green learning!!!’

    Reply
    • Adelaide Shaw

      It may be gibberish to some, but it reads like poetry. I only just began trying to write free verse, but I think if you broke up the lines and made a few edits you could call it free verse. I am not a good one to advise about free verse, but this is my uneducated opinion.
      Adelaide

  43. Katy Cox

    What a brilliant idea Joe, a bit like push-starting a car – you’re push starting your brain…

    Reply
  44. nopey

    The tables are turning. They’re earning and learning as they turn. Learning and earning ultimately go hand in hand – how can one earn if he never learns? It’s a long road and it’s full of slimy, grime ridden traps that open up and swallow you whole each time you find yourself running smoothly again. They’re hungry, starving and screaming aloud for your aspirations. They want to eat them. They chew on them and grind them between their rotting, blackened rows of turnip teeth and the stench of jaded failure rises from the soil in wafting sinewy snakes of smoke. And you’re back to square one and the turners are at their tables again.

    Reply
  45. Eric Indiana

    Tangential recidivism won’t miss the mark. But each time I reach for my revolver I have to ask myself, is it me, or is it Memorex?

    Reply
  46. BioCraftHero

    Tear at me, but I’ll break free. My personal demons won’t hold me down from my own life. I’ll break free. Of broken bones and broken hearts, I’ll be able to set others free as well. You Goddamned carnivore. You rip at my flesh and skin ‘till there’s nothing left, hoping to gain something from it. I won’t let you win. Fire spews from your mouth and it hurts. My mind aches for release and it won’t come. Yet I call for it to stop at the wires and chains tear and bind me. Savage animal. I won’t be defeated. I break free and I run from it all. Fate can’t catch me yet. I will not let my self doubts kill me. I’ll escape from you all. You carnivores. You destroy and destroy, not caring about what it is. Yet I am not a mindless machine. I am human. Or am I machine? I’m not quite sure yet. The ghost of my past haunt me. The carnivores of my fears hurt me. My villains of the present tear at me. But I persist because I refuse to let you worry. Fangs and claws surround the sky. The air is always dark and musky. I don’t care. I’m still here. I’m fine. Guilty. Proud. What should I be? What do I care? I don’t. I scream and roar, and it won’t go away. What is this pain? It hurts. I don’t want to tell you. I ignore it, it goes away. It comes back a bit at a time and then urges me to lie and hurt more. It all hurts. Run. Run away from it all. I don’t care? I don’t care. I don’t care! I shout it all into the void I reside in. Alone. I am so very alone. I want to be free. Help me. I want to see you. You do not listen. Help. Help me. Please.

    Reply

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  1. Nice article and I swear we’re still here! | uncaffeinated - […] posted a nice article with a tip to break your writer’s block: This Writing Exercise Will Get You Unstuck…
  2. Looking for Inspiration? | enjoytowrite - […] Write Gibberish (https://thewritepractice.com/writing-exercise-unstuck/) […]

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